It’s no more news that the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the postponement of Euro 2020 to 2021. Regardless, this won’t stop us from reminiscing on some of the best and unforgettable top 10 European Championship moments as we look forward to 2021.
The European Championship has produced numerous moments that have seen fans go crazy. Here are the top 10 moments from the Euros that may never be forgotten. They are ranked from number 10 to number 1.
10. England’s Double Penalty Drama
Match – England vs Spain | England vs Germany – Euro 1996
Stuart Pearce was handed the opportunity to redeem himself after the penalty miss in the 1990 World Cup. He came up with the goods as the Three Lions beat Spain on penalties in what was England’s major tournament penalty victory.
This was at the quarter-final stage of Euro 1996. They progressed to the semi-finals where they lost against Germany on penalties at Wembley. Gareth Southgate was the culprit this time as he missed the decisive penalty while Andreas Moller scored the sixth for the German Machines. This was a major heartbreak for the hosts.
9. Platini’s late ‘84 winner
Match – France vs Portugal – Euro 1984
Juventus star man and France international Michel Platini came into the Euros in 1984 midway through three successive Ballon d’Or wins. He made his statement on the pitch, and where better, than on home soil in France?
Platini was lethal and scored in every game amassing 9 goals in total. The best of the lot came in the semi-final against Portugal in extra-time when he found the back of the net in the 119th minute after an amazing dribbling run from Jean Tigana.
8. England wallop Holland 4-1
Match – England vs Holland – Euro 1996
English football faced a transformation in Euro 1996 and this was evidenced when the attacking partnership of Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham ensured that the Dutch were put to the sword.
Shearer and Sheringham scored a brace each before Patrick Kluivert scored the consolation goal for Holland.
7. Spain demolition proves their dominance
Match – Spain vs Italy – Euro 2012
Spain were coming off the back of European and World Triumphs in 2008 and 2012 respectively. However, their false-nine system whilst proving effective came under fire from critics. More so, because they were winning by slim single goal margins.
However, they shut critics up when they thrashed Italy 4 nil in the final of the competition with four different goalscorers.
6. The birth of the Panenka
Match – Czechoslovakia vs West Germany – Euro 1976
Antonin Panenka stole the show with the famous winning penalty kick and arguably the most decisive lob ever in the final of the competition.
After Uli Hoeness had missed for Germany, the Czech midfielder delivered the stylish goods as he let Sepp Maier dive to his left before the simplest of chips down the middle.
5. The Golden Goal by Trezeguet
Match – France vs Italy – Euro 2000
Sylvain Wiltord equalized for France against Italy in stoppage time before Trezeguet ended the match in the 103rd minute. It began when Robert Pires broke down the left and sent in a cross that was behind the Juve striker.
However, he had to readjust his body before thumping past Francesco Toldo to send chills down the spines of the opponents while he and his teammates engaged in wild celebrations.
4. Schmeichel saves on the way to Denmark shock glory
Match – Denmark vs Holland – Euro 1992
This was a very strange occurrence. Denmark didn’t originally qualify for the competition but replaced Yugoslavia after they were disqualified.
Regardless, they went all the way to the finals with some amazing performances but the save from Manchester United’s Peter Schmeichel in the semi-final against a Marco van Basten penalty was the best of the lot, as they progressed to the final and beat Germany 2 nil to win the title.
3. Gazza in the dentist’s chair
Match – England vs Scotland – Euro 1996
This is one that will be rarely forgotten in English football folklore if there is such a thing. Paul Gascoigne was the star of the show with the wonder goal against Scotland in 1996. With just 12 minutes remaining of a group stage game at Wembley, the English midfield maestro flicked the ball over Colin Hendry before slamming into the bet with his right.
He celebrated by laying behind the goal while his teammates squirted water into his mouth in a bid to re-enact the ‘dentist’s chair’ drinking game which as a major headline before the commencement of the tournament.
2. Greece against the world; still upset the odds
Match – Greece vs Portugal – Euro 2004
Greece stuck with their team ethic and came from nowhere to stun the footballing world with great shockers at Euro 2004, an unforgettable tournament for football’s elite. One goal was enough for them to win as they stifled all their opponents before facing Portugal in the final.
Angelos Charisteas stole the show from the likes of Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo as he grabbed the winner with an unforgettable header after a corner from Angelos Basinas that saw Greece claim their first major title.
1. Van Basten’s volley
Match – Holland vs USSR – Euro 1988
The winning volley from Marco van Basten in 1988 at Munich’s Olympiastadion has been described as the most iconic goal in European Championship history
The cross which assisted the goal came from Arnold Muhren from the left and appeared to pose very little danger before Marco van Basten smashed the ball into the net with an arching strike.
The goal was so special that it forced an admission from Dutch captain Ruud Gullit that the ball would not end in the net if van Basten hit it a million times again.
These are the best European Championship moments in history. We look forward to the next Euros in 2021 and hope it stands out.